Saturday, September 4, 2010

If cars were regulated like firearms

If cars were regulated like firearms, the following would be true:

* All classic sports cars, subcompact cars or cars capable of operating in excess of 120 km/h would be prohibited. Cars that look like they are capable of exceeding 120 km/h would also be prohibited by adding them to the list of prohibited vehicles. Persons owning such cars prior to the enactment of the "Automobile Act" would be allowed to keep them. But they would not be allowed to drive them on roads. They would require a "special authority to drive" to take them to a provincially certified track to drive. The government, by virtue of a legislative screw-up, would never be permitted to grant the special authority.

* All coupes, by virtue of being two-doors, would be banned from driving on roads and would be restricted to use of provincially regulated tracks. To take your two-door car to the track would require an authorization to transport to the track. You would have to take a designated route to the track. If you deviate from the route, you could face serious criminal charges.

* If you own a car, you would have to store it in a locked garage. If you do not own a locked garage, you would have to drain the fuel tank after arriving home, and lock the doors. You would have to store the gasoline separately from the car, and in a safe manner. You would also have to follow this regimen if you parked at the mall or at work. Failure to adhere to this could result in serious criminal charges.

* Failing to get a sticker every year on time would result in serious criminal charges (instead of a fine or a suspended ticket).

* Any infraction of the Highway Traffic Act would be a serious criminal offence.

* To get your license you would, in addition to passing a safe-driving course and exams, provide three references who would vouch for your ability to drive. You would have to get approval from all your sexual partners who have stayed in your home, as well as any former employers.

* Upon receiving your license, you will be allowed to purchase a car, but not on a Sunday, and sales between individuals, as opposed to businesses, cannot occur on the weekend.

* If you do not receive your license renewal on time, police will show up at your door to demand that you turn over your car for destruction. You could also face serious criminal charges.

* If you argue with your spouse, or are going through a divorce, and your spouse makes any claim of criminal action, police will seize your car and destroy it.

* If you are convicted of any criminal offence -- even putting a penny on a railroad track (Section 456) or having a poker night (Section 201) -- your car would be seized and destroyed.

* If you violate any of the regulations listed above or committed any criminal offence, you would have all your cars seized and destroyed, and you would be prohibited from owning a car for 10 years.

Every time there was a serious accident or a hit and run, grandstanding and shamelessly uninformed politicians would demonize car owners as dangerous, wife-abusing rednecks who cannot be trusted, and call for a total car ban.

If it saves even one life, it's worth it, right?

Written by Paul Morrison

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Enforced Misery

An excellent read on how the politics and propaganda of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict uses ordinary Palestinians as pawns, where there suffering is more important than living a normal life. When it comes to the Muslim world sympathy for the Palestinians because they are their “Muslim brothers and sisters” I take it with a large bag of salt. I noted in Malaysia that the sympathy for the Indonesians (who are both their Muslim and ethnic brethren) is quite a bit less than it is for the Palestinians, I guess distance really does make the heart grow fonder! My heart does go out to the average Palestinian who wants a normal life, they are caught between a rock and hard place.

Any regime with an ounce of compassion would have shut Balata down and integrated its people into the surrounding community. Balata is a place without hope, a quagmire of despair, where the day-to-day misery of its inhabitants is partially ameliorated by Western charities and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), while inadvertently building a culture of dependence.

Balata’s creation could ostensibly be laid at Israel’s doorstep, but its perpetuation cannot. The current residents of Balata are only refugees by a crude reworking of the meaning of the term. They themselves have fled from nothing, and sought refuge from nothing. They are the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the people who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war.

Read more at Pajamas Media

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Taliban are scum

Utterly sickening is the news that the Taliban and aligned forces would use poison gas on girls who only crime is wanting to learn. Can you imagine the courage it takes for the kids, parents and teachers to come to school each day? Doing what we do without thinking is an act of defiance for them with serious consequences.

So where is the outrage from all of our parties and the media? (to be fair some media are) How about a UN resolution condemning this act?

I guess Afghan schoolgirls are not so newsworthy. Perhaps Jack Layton will remind me again what we are supposed to talk with the Taliban about?

Update: Another 3 aid workers killed by the Taliban in the NE province of Badakhshan, this brings the total to 13 aid workers killed in this previously peaceful province. This is typical of the Taliban methods destroy any government or aid project, throw people into despair and then offer them “security” but at a heavy price.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I couldn’t have said it better myself, despite all the evidence that the registry does not work, the Liberals cling to it like a magic Talisman. To be honest the Liberal party as a whole reminds me of Gollum.

Picture courtesy of “Don’t tread on me

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Guardian of good taste?

The Guardian is a large very, very Liberal newspaper in the UK, where at least they admit to which way they lean in regards to politics. It has always been rather hostile to the military and military actions. Now in this article on the “missing” Ninth Legion of the Roman army, the Guardian maintains it’s policy of being snobbish to military folks in general and totally ignorant of what it takes (and in this case what it took) to maintain a modern army in the field.
Now a Roman Legion is not modern by our standards, but they were without equal for a very long time and that was due to their organization and their logistics. But for Rome keeping a legion in the field and in far flung corners of the empire was expensive and they were expected to source a lot of their supplies locally, far more than an army of today. Roman legions had engineers not only to build defence works, but also roads, civil structures and the means to support themselves.
So the Guardian firmly plants it left foot into it’s mouth with their snide comments that the legion spent a great deal of time supporting itself rather than fighting. Had they bothered to crack open a history book they might have already known that the Legions did not spend 24/7 fighting.

Now for the right foot into the mouth, the whole crux of the story now seems to be that archaeological evidence shows that the Roman Legion actually wore……..wait for it……..wait….., yes the Guardian is shocked and dismayed that the legion wore SOCKS with sandals! No doubt the Guardian readers will hound the Italian Embassy with protests over this unfashionable folly, as the paper blames the odd tradition of wearing socks with sandals on the Romans, rather than perhaps the weather and mad Englishman. No doubt Galloway will lend his orator skills to the fray and claim it’s all a plot by Bush’s ancestors.

Now for more interesting news for readers that think. Seems the current drought in the UK is letting archaeologists look for clues to ancient ruins that would otherwise be hidden by growing crops. Over 60 new sites were discovered in one day, including a Roman march fort, which they built when resting during a march. Very cool stuff. As a kid I remember standing on Hadrian’s wall and imaging myself as a Roman soldier staring down the Picts.

Russia in colour Circa 1910

A fascinating array of photo’s in colour so clear and realistic it’s almost as if a photographer went back in time with a high end digital camera to take them. Having your picture taken was a major event and time consuming which accounts for the serious looks, not to mention life was hard back then for most of them.

Many thanks to my friend Brad who sent me the link!

With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time - when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. Collected here are a few of the hundreds of color images made available by the Library of Congress, which purchased the original glass plates back in 1948.

Update: added the actual link so you can enjoy the rest of the pictures, sorry...
More pictures at The Big Picture

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's a tough life

It's a tough life, go spend a week in a place people spend thousands to see. We saw about 12 Humpback whales, about 200 pacific Whiteside’s porpoises, lots of salmon jumping and one elephant seal. Caught a nice 30lb halibut which is very tasty! Was with a good crew who could all cook and we had good food, good wine, good company and fantastic scenery. Nothing like relaxing at the end of the day with a glass of merlot, watching Humpback whales feeding.

It's nice to be back though with two loving daughters, a great wife and not to mention a purring cat!